Kathy Sierra blogged recently about the Rails Guidebook, and along the way mentioned the loyalty that customers have toward the Pragmatic Bookshelf:

Let me put it this way, in an effort to support this young publishing company, loyal readers will often go to their site to buy directwhich means paying more for the books than they’d pay on Amazon.

I won’t argue with that; there is a lot of loyalty there. Dave and Andy are good friends of mine, and I certainly want to support their company by buying direct, and I encourage others to do so.

But it’s not just loyalty. I would buy direct from them for a very practical reason, and last night I realized that it goes beyond even thatI found myself wanting to buy a Pragmatic Bookshelf book that hasn’t been written yet (and that, so far as I know, they aren’t even planning) in preference to an existing best-of-class book. That’s right; I prefer the Pragmatic Bookshelf book on a topic to a classic from another publisher, even when the Pragmatic Bookshelf version doesn’t exist yet.


Because from the Pragmatic Programmers, I can buy a POPEa Plain Old PDF Ebook. Not tied to a special reader, or a single machine, so it’s trouble-free. And it’ll be on my laptop wherever I am, instead of sitting on a shelf at home somewhere.